A student soars in community service

Senior Michaela Wuycheck discusses her involvement in community service and advice on how to find the right organization for anyone

Seniors+Michaela+Wuycheck+and+Madelyn+Addison+at+the+Walk+to+End+Alzheimer%27s.+

courtesy of Michaela Wuycheck

Seniors Michaela Wuycheck and Madelyn Addison at the Walk to End Alzheimer's.

Sydney Missigman, Writer

Q: When did you begin to become interested in volunteering? And since then, how many hours of service have you completed?

A: “Oh gosh, I have loved service since I was a child. My mom raised me in an environment where we tried to give whatever we had, whenever we could. I would say that when I reached about 4th grade, I personally decided that I would live my life for service- and in many different ways, too! Since I started Xavier, I have completed over 1,000 hours of service. However, I only know that because I did have to count for a college application.”

Q: Many students at Xavier are required to complete service hours, but are unsure of where to complete them. What organizations or groups do you volunteer with? How do you find them?

A: “I promise you that everywhere around you is in need of service of some kind. I found the places I volunteer at through conversation. Generally, when you speak to someone about a cause that is important to them, they will be more than happy to tell you about an organization where they’ve been a regular. I love to spend time at Feed My Starving Children, St. Vincent de Paul, my local parish’s office and at various walks and annual fundraisers.”

Q: Community service can sometimes feel like a chore, how do you make working fun and interesting?

A: “This sounds so silly, but make it your mission to make the most out of your time and your talents for the day! Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to perform this act of service and go one step above what is asked of you. Make the most of your time, smile as much as possible, and see how many lives you can touch in the short time you’re serving. (As always, should you or any of your fellow volunteers fall asleep, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions. This tape/disc will self-destruct in five seconds. Good luck, Michaela).”

Q: How has serving the community impacted you, not just the organization? What have you learned from giving your time to others?

A: “Volunteering has made me into the woman I am today! I am a firm believer that a smile can change a life. I always made it my mission to smile at as many people as I could, determined to change at least one of their days for the better. What I didn’t know was that the smiles I received in return would change my day, my life, and my disposition. If I have learned anything in my life, it is that I am unbelievably blessed. ‘The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.'”

Q: Are there any clubs/organizations at Xavier that have inspired or helped you in your community service?

A: “This question brought such a smile to my face! Yes! I am currently the President of Key Club and the Secretary of NHS. Both of these clubs are full of young women that are passionate, determined and in love with service. I am honored to be a part of these clubs – we really are blessed to have service opportunities so central in our school’s identity.”